For Immediate Release:
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today sued Mansa Travel Center Charlotte LLC, also known as Queen’s Market, for allegedly violating North Carolina’s price gouging law during the Colonial Pipeline shutdown and state of emergency in May.
“This gas station wildly overpriced their gas prices to take advantage of the pipeline shutdown and people’s desperation to get gas,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “It’s against the law for businesses to take advantage of a state of emergency to exploit their customers. I’ll do everything in my power to hold price gougers accountable.”
Attorney General Stein’s lawsuit alleges that Queen’s Market raised prices for gas to $3.197 per gallon for regular gas (a 19 percent increase from pre-shutdown prices), $9.99 per gallon for midgrade (a 278 percent increase), and to $9.99 per gallon for premium (a 256 percent increase). The company allegedly sold gas to customers at these excessive prices even though even though it incurred no actual increases in fuel costs. Concerns about the gas station’s prices went viral in May.
The lawsuit seeks restitution for all consumers who overpaid on gas prices during this period as well as civil penalties and attorneys’ fees.
This is the second lawsuit Attorney General Stein has filed alleging price gouging after the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. On August 6, he sued Jack’s In & Out Food Mart in Durham for allegedly increasing the price of gas from $3.29 per gallon for premium fuel on May 9 to $5.499 on May 11, an increase of 60 percent.
Since 2018, Attorney General Stein has brought 11 lawsuits against 27 defendants under North Carolina’s price gouging statute. He has obtained nine judgments against 18 defendants, including a $274,000 settlement that was the largest price gouging settlement in the department’s history. DOJ has won more than $975,000 in these judgments and settlements.
A copy of the complaint is available here.